The NHS Plan 2015


These are the principles of the NHS Plan 2000 to which the great and good signed up and they were the basis of Labour’s revival of the NHS. Oh and the extra money.

Would we change them now?

1. The NHS will provide a universal service for all based on clinical need, not ability to pay.

Healthcare is a basic human right. Unlike private systems the NHS will not exclude people because of their health status or ability to pay. Access to the NHS will continue to depend upon clinical need, not ability to pay.

2. The NHS will provide a comprehensive range of services

The NHS will provide access to a comprehensive range of services throughout primary and community healthcare, intermediate care and hospital based care. The NHS will also provide information services and support to individuals in relation to health promotion, disease prevention, self-care, rehabilitation and after care. The NHS will continue to provide clinically appropriate cost-effective services.

3. The NHS will shape its services around the needs and preferences of individual patients, their families and their carers

The NHS of the 21st century must be responsive to the needs of different groups and individuals within society, and challenge discrimination on the grounds of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability and sexuality. The NHS will treat patients as individuals, with respect for their dignity. Patients and citizens will have a greater say in the NHS, and the provision of services will be centred on patients’ needs.

4. The NHS will respond to different needs of different populations

Health services will continue to be funded nationally, and available to all citizens of the UK. Within this framework, the NHS must also be responsive to the different needs of different populations in the devolved nations and throughout the regions and localities. Efforts will continually be made to reduce unjustified variations and raise standards to achieve a truly National Health Service.

5. The NHS will work continuously to improve quality services and to minimise errors

The NHS will ensure that services are driven by a cycle of continuous quality improvement. Quality will not just be restricted to the clinical aspects of care, but include quality of life and the entire patient experience. Healthcare organisations and professions will establish ways to identify procedures that should be modified or abandoned and new practices that will lead to improved patient care. All those providing care will work to make it ever safer, and support a culture where we can learn from and effectively reduce mistakes. The NHS will continuously improve its efficiency, productivity and performance.

6. The NHS will support and value its staff

The strength of the NHS lies in its staff, whose skills, expertise and dedication underpin all that it does. They have the right to be treated with respect and dignity. The NHS will continue to support, recognise, reward and invest in individuals and organisations, providing opportunities for individual staff to progress in their careers and encouraging education, training and personal development. Professionals and organisations will have opportunities and responsibilities to exercise their judgement within the context of nationally agreed policies and standards.

7. Public funds for healthcare will be devoted solely to NHS patients.

The NHS is funded out of public expenditure, primarily by taxation. This is a fair and efficient means for raising funds for healthcare services. Individuals will remain free to spend their own money as they see fit, but public funds will be devoted solely to NHS patients, and not be used to subsidise individuals’ privately funded healthcare.

8. The NHS will work together with others to ensure a seamless service for patients.

The health and social care system must be shaped around the needs of the patient, not the other way round. The NHS will develop partnerships and co-operation at all levels of care – between patients, their carers and families and NHS staff; between the health and social care sector; between different Government departments; between the public sector, voluntary organisations and private providers in the provision of NHS services – to ensure a patient-centred service.

9. The NHS will help keep people healthy and work to reduce health inequalities

The NHS will focus efforts on preventing, as well as treating ill-health. Recognising that good health also depends upon social, environmental and economic factors such as deprivation, housing, education and nutrition, the NHS will work with other public services to intervene not just after but before ill health occurs. It will work with others to reduce health inequalities.

10. The NHS will respect the confidentiality of individual patients and provide open access to information about services, treatment and performance

Patient confidentiality will be respected throughout the process of care. The NHS will be open with information about health and healthcare services. It will continue to use information to improve the quality of services for all and to generate new knowledge about future medical benefits. Developments in science such as the new genetics offer important possibilities for disease prevention and treatment in the future. As a national service, the NHS is well-placed to take advantage of the opportunities offered by scientific developments, and will ensure that new technologies are harnessed and developed in the interests of society as a whole and available to all on the basis of need.